Don’t miss the last total lunar eclipse until 2025

The next total lunar eclipse won't be until March of 2025.

Lunar Eclipse

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Early Tuesday morning, the moon will pass completely through the earth’s shadow.

How can I see it?

Around 3:15 am MDT, on Tuesday, November 8, the total eclipse will begin. The moon will be in the west, just above the horizon. The total eclipse will last about an hour and a half, with the maximum eclipse occurring at 4:00 am MDT. You should be able to see the signature red glow if you’re in an area with minimal cloud cover. Cloud cover could be an issue unless you’re in the Black Hills or the central plains of South Dakota. You can find out more information on this year’s lunar eclipse and what to expect here.

What is a lunar eclipse?

A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth. There are different stages to a lunar eclipse.

The first stage, the penumbral eclipse, occurs when the moon passes into the partially shaded area behind the earth. During this stage, the moon will gradually darken.

The second stage, the total eclipse, happens when the moon passes completely shaded area behind Earth. this area is known as the umbra. this stage is when you’ll see the mon begin to turn red.

Umbra Penumbra

Why does the moon turn red?

The moon turns red because of the way the sunlight passes the Earth’s atmosphere.

“The light is refracted to the red end of the spectrum, of the light spectrum. And that’s why, you know, if you see a sunset or a sunrise, the sky will often appear reddish.”, said Tom Durkin, Deputy Director of the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium. 

So basically, you’re seeing Earth’s sunrise/sunset being projected onto the moon!

When is the next total lunar eclipse?

The next one won’t be until March of 2025, so you should hope that we get clear skies!

 

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